The Temple Emanuel Streicker Center
COMMEMORATES YOM HA-SHOAH
(Holocaust Remembrance Day)
with PBS/WNET FILM
THE SOAP MYTH
ED ASNER & TOVAH FELDSHUH
Now Streaming for Free
On ALL ARTS
A Special Live-Stream Panel Discussion
Monday, April 20, 2020, at 6:30pm (EST)
with MICHAEL BERENBAUM (USHMM Project Director)
and IRA FORMAN (Obama’s Anti-Semitism Czar)
With theaters around the world dark and the transition of live entertainment to online platforms, Temple Emanuel Streicker Center will commemorate Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) with the PBS/WNET film of Jeff Cohen’s acclaimed drama The Soap Myth. The staged “concert reading,” starring seven-time Emmy Award and five-time Golden Globe Award winner ED ASNER and four-time Tony Award and two-time Emmy Award nominee TOVAH FELDSHUH, is available now to stream for free via WNET’s ALL ARTS platform.
Did the Nazis make soap from corpses of murdered Jews? Fifty years after the end of World War II, impassioned Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman (Ed Asner) battles Holocaust historians to have the atrocity of “soap” included in their Holocaust memorials and museums. Jeff Cohen’s acclaimed play wrestles with the conflict between survivor memory and historical proof along with the scourge of anti-Semitism masquerading as Holocaust denial. The Soap Myth poses such provocative questions as Who has the right to write history? Who determines the truth? and How does a survivor survive surviving?
In observation of Yom Ha-Shoah and to foster an ongoing sense of community during these isolating times, Temple Emanuel Streicker Center will host a special live-stream panel discussion on Monday, April 20 at 6:30pm (EST). The discussion will be introduced by Temple Emanuel Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson and National Jewish Theater Foundation President Arnold Mittelman. Taking questions from the worldwide virtual audience, the panel will include stars Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh, playwright Jeff Cohen, historian and Project Director for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Michael Berenbaum and the Obama Administration’s Special Envoy for Combatting Anti-Semitism Ira Forman. Moderating the panel discussion will be Richard Salomon, Vice President of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. The panel discussion is free but registration is required via the Temple Emanuel Streicker website.
It is suggested that participants view the film of The Soap Myth prior to the live discussion.
The 85-minute play The Soap Myth was taped on April 22, 2019 at the Center for Jewish History/YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City. A program of PBS/WNET and the ALL ARTS channel’s “House Seats” series, it can be viewed free-of-charge on any of the ALL ARTS streaming platforms.
Alongside Ed Asner as Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman, Tovah Feldshuh plays the dual roles of Holocaust scholar Esther Feinman and Holocaust denier Brenda Goodsen. Also in the cast are Liba Vaynberg as journalist Annie Blumberg and Ned Eisenberg portraying five roles, including Holocaust scholar Daniel Silver. The play reading was directed by Pamela Berlin.
The performance of The Soap Myth is a part of the National Jewish Theater Foundation/Holocaust Theatre International Initiative program “Remembrance Readings” to honor and commemorate the Holocaust through works of theater. The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is the educational partner of The Soap Myth.
ED ASNER is beloved for such legendary roles as Lou Grant in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Lou Grant,” Santa Claus in the Will Ferrell-led comedy Elf, and Carl Fredrickson in the smash animated feature Up. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including seven Primetime Emmy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.
TOVAH FELDSHUH has received four Tony Award and two Emmy Award nominations and is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award, Hadassah’s Myrtle Wreath, and the Israel Peace Medal. Her acclaimed work on Broadway includes her Drama Desk Award-winning portrayal of Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir in Golda’s Balcony, the longest running one-woman play in Broadway history. Notable TV credits include Danielle Melnick on NBC’s Law & Order.
JEFF COHEN Playwright, director and producer, Jeff Cohen’s work has received numerous awards including Drama Desk, Obie, Outer Critics and Drama League, as well as Critic’s Picks in dozens of publications including Time Magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Boston Globe, and The Baltimore Sun. He has worked with hundreds of acclaimed artists including Ed Asner, Laura Linney, Liev Schreiber, Michael Ealy, Kristen Chenoweth, Kathryn Hahn and S. Epatha Merkerson. His response to the attacks of 9/11, the Tribeca Playhouse Stage Door Canteen, featured stars from Broadway, TV, and music to entertain “the troops,” the rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero.
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